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. Iran wins South African help to resolve nuclear row
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) Sep 29, 2004
South Africa on Wednesday called for an urgent solution to the row over Iran's nuclear program following a meeting here between President Thabo Mbeki and Iranian national security adviser Hassan Rowhani.

Iran is under threat of being hauled before the UN Security Council amid suspicions it is seeking the capacity to develop nuclear weapons.

South Africa "believes that a confrontation should be avoided and a solution should be sought urgently," said Abdul Minty, South Africa's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"Such a solution should be possible by finding a balance between the rights of the NPT members to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and the need to build international confidence," said Minty in a statement.

He added that South Africa would "be interacting intensively with all parties concerned and work for a satisfactory solution."

Mbeki met with Rowhani in Cape Town for about an hour to discuss the nuclear standoff, said presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo.

The IAEA called on Iran earlier this month to halt its uranium enrichment-related activities amid suspicions that they could be used to develop weapons.

The United States claims Iran is hiding a covert weapons development program and wants the agency to bring Iran before the UN Security Council in November.

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